Heading Back to School
By Keri Magana, Assistant Director of Enrollment at City University of Seattle
Are you a working professional thinking of returning to school? Are you trying to balance your personal and professional obligations, while also considering making the leap back into the world of education?
How do you go back to school to earn a degree when you’re already working full time? Or when you have a family to think about? Knowing how important it is to head back to school to earn or complete a degree is one thing, but figuring out how to start that process can be a real challenge.
Here are five tips for adult learners who may be unsure about how to juggle school with their already jam-packed lives:
1. Discuss your options with your family, friends and colleagues.
Returning to higher education, whether to complete a program or to start a new one, will fundamentally change how you spend your time. You’ll need to assess how the commitment will affect your time spent doing other things (caring for your family, working, etc.) It’s important that you have a discussion with each individual who will feel the impact of your returning to school. Make sure everyone understands your plan and help to set expectations.
2. Research the various flexible delivery methods available.
At City University of Seattle, we offer face-to-face, mixed-mode, online and performance-based options. These options offer flexibility for people juggling other priorities, giving working professionals the ability to complete coursework when it’s convenient for their schedule.
3. View going back to school as a strategic, long-term investment.
Obtaining a degree may not raise your salary immediately, but over time you are likely to see a financial return on your investment; you should view your education as a long-term investment. In addition to a financial return, you will benefit from learning new skills, thinking critically about your current work, and even networking with other like-minded professionals.
4. Communication is key.
You’ll have a team behind you as you work to complete your goals. Just be sure to communicate efficiently and effectively with them along the way. Your instructors, program director, academic advisor and financial aid counselor all want to see you succeed. Always remember to voice your concerns and questions. We’re here to help, but we can’t do that unless we know what you need. Let us know what we can do to help, and we’ll do our best to make it happen.
5. Take advantage of your new network.
Going back to school is a huge commitment of your time and finances, but it will give you the opportunity to connect with professors and classmates who have real-world knowledge and expertise. Use that to your advantage as you learn new skills and master the topics that you weren’t as knowledgeable in when you began the program.
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